Matt’s Favourite Films & Performers of 2020

2020 Best of the Best

2020 has been a hell of a year. With theatres ending up being an unsafe place to be during an ongoing worldwide pandemic you’d think it would be a harder year for film, but looking back it’s clear that this year has been an as vibrant and diverse year for film as any other.

Of course, the difference is that without theatres, there have been far fewer blockbusters and far more indie and middle-tier films. The impact on my film diary for the year has been an interesting one, with bigger budget films losing the endorphin high of the theatrical experience –and thus losing some of the immediate forgiveness they earn if they aren’t great. Additionally, film festivals moved to an online experience either in whole or in part this year, which has meant that I have “attended” more of them.

As a result, I have seen more than 120 of 2020’s films, a steep increase from years past. Narrowing the list down to a group of favourites is as difficult as ever! Also this year, for the second time, I am going to highlight some of the performers that blew me away.

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Blood in the Snow Review: ‘Anything for Jackson’ is a story about love taken to the wrong extremes

Anything for Jackson

How far would you go for someone you love? Most people say they’d do anything, but how many would turn to satanism? For Henry and Audrey Walsh, an older couple desperate to bring back their lost grandson, satanism is just the beginning.

The titular Jackson died in a car accident some two years before the beginning of this story. His grandparents, completely distraught and desperate, kidnap a young pregnant woman with the intent of performing a sort of reverse exorcism, a ritual to place Jackson’s soul into the woman’s unborn baby. But, of course, these are the dark arts, and this is a horror movie, so they get entirely more than they bargained for.

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VIFF Review: ‘Happy Place’ is a powerful story about living with trauma

Happy Place

How do we survive trauma? How do we even begin to process it? This is the question asked in Happy Place, a story of a young woman in a private mental health clinic learning to live with her pain.

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